Belle came to me to raise for a New Life Assistance Dog for UDS (United Disability Services). Her full name was New Life’s Belle De Amore named from a Disney character as all the puppies in the litter. She was picked especially for me and my family as I had another dog and a cat.
She was a very active puppy but soon learned the rules of the house. We took her everywhere to learn what was expected of her in public. After 18 months, she was released from the program due to a health problem. Of course I was more than happy to buy Belle for my own therapy dog as I was retiring my other dog.
We were first certified with Therapy Dogs Incorporated. But in 2003 and as Karen’s vision came to life, we joined KPETS. We visited many nursing homes on a monthly schedule including the Glen at Willow Valley, Village Vista and a few more.
But one of her favorite places to go was Acadia Rehab at Greenfield, a facility for those with brain injuries. They loved her tricks and she loved the group. For five years we visited with Maggie and her group until I felt it was too hard for Belle. But when she would see her KPETS scarf meaning ‘work time’, she would just go crazy! We had to hide it!
Belle was a READ dog also. We went to Warton Elementary School for three years. She loved children and was especially helpful to a first grader who was autistic. His teacher said he was a different boy when Belle was with him!
As any dog person knows, dogs have taught us more about life and living than we could ever teach them. I really miss her energy and that sweet smiling face.
Love you Belle!!